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How do Quartz watches work?

Updated on July 9, 2012

Keep precise time with nothing but a lump of rock.

The quartz watch utilizes a unique excellence of the crystal (basically made from silicon dioxide) which was found out to vibrate at a very regular 32,768 times per second. Wall clocks and wrist watches that make use of quartz are usually extremely accurate however they do lose and gain time, simply because the crystal responds to modifications in the climate like changes in temperature and pressure.

Quartz watches function as the crystal itself is piezoelectric, meaning it vibrates whenever you employ an electric current into it. The circuit collects the power that the piezoelectric effect creates to drive the motor that moves hands or, on the other hand power the LCD display if it is an electronic digital display.



Electric power charge must be applied to the quartz crystal so that it vibrates. As only a tiny bit of current is required, a battery may last for a very extensive period.

Circuit Board and Microprocessor

The electronics within the quartz clock recognize the vibrations of the crystals and transform these into regular pulses.

Stepping Motor

The electrical output from the quartz crystal can be used to drive a small motor that moves the hands on the face of the clock.


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